Is the stress making his Crohn's worse?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rlsnights, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    So difficult child 2 started back to regular middle school last week after 2 years homeschooling. We started HSing because he was pretty sick (autoimmune disease - Crohn's) and had missed an enormous amount of school in 2 years.

    Anyway his Crohn's has been in medication induced remission for about 1 year. The past 6 months have been really hard as he and his twin sister have been fighting constantly over everything. He is so lonely - won't or can't make friends at HSing events, often ends up in fights with the other kids.

    So going back to public school seemed like the right choice. School started 9/8 and he's done really well so far. Mini-melt downs at home but nothing extreme.

    This afternoon he blew up and this evening he had an accident. Accidents are harbingers of a flare of his Crohn's. No, no, no.

    Only time will tell.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Stress could be adding to it, as could a new schedule and even dehydration.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I would be very surprised if the stress wasn't worsening his Crohn's--it is a known fact that stress worsens all autoimmune diseases.

    Add in that stress tends to target the bowels in people who don't have actual autoimmune bowel disease and it just adds to it.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Absolutely Patricia! While it may not be a technical flare (what I think of as the sed rate going up and other lab markers coming out), it could be an IBS-type thing, which is not uncommon with these kids, and is certainly linked to stress. At least that's been our experience with difficult child 1. He ended up on Elavil for the latter half of 7th grade and all of 8th (more as a precaution) because he was having cramping and diarrhea on and off.

    This year it's the opposite problem with constipation.

    The Elavil did help settle things down for him. It was a low dose, just 10mg. Enough to make a difference, but not so much that it was an issue if he wanted to stop.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think with autoimmune illnesses and mental illnesses it can be a vicious cycle.

    Even if he hasn't been having the bowel issues with Crohn's, I would wonder if he was feeling carapy elsewhere, which magnifies behaviors and the mood disorder, which causes stress, which exacerbates the Crohn's.

    IOW, I think it can work both ways.

    I hope difficult child 2 is feeling better soon.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My brother is 52 and had severe childhood Crohn's althought it was undiagnosed until he almost died (we've come a long way in diagnostics...the doctors had no idea what was wrong with him when he was young and so terribly sick). He is on a lot of medications for t he Crohn's now and had been an actuary for years. Stress did kick up his Crohn's (he had multiple surgeries). He finally quit the actuary job so that he didn't have to work as many hours and now he's a teacher, which he loves and he gets a lot more time off. He was hoping this would reduce flareups, although he has never really gone into total remission. He thinks that working less and doing something he loves has helped a little so, based on living with my brother for all these years, I would certainly think stress can be a factor in kicking up Crohn's. However, he has also had some flareups when things were relatively smooth. I feel for your little guy as I saw first hand what Crohns can be like. Big hugs to your little guy and hope he feels better soon.